Lower your standard of living (at least your documented standard of living) before you file for divorce.
This is one of the most important things you should do.
Lower yours and your wife's standards of living one-two years before divorce. The lower your standard of living before divorce, the better off you will be after divorce. All divorce help books for women tell
them to start spending like crazy before divorce, so she might be trying to increase her standard of living while you are trying to lower it.
If you own a business you can tell her that you are making less money short-turn, but will have a big payoff that she will greatly benefit from in the future. You can say that you are using money to expand your business or something along this line.
You can tell your wife that you are saving money for a big purchase that will benefit her, like a new house, or even a big SUV she has been dreaming about.
Or just explain that you are having financial difficulties.
Start paying for things with cash. Pay cash when you take your wife to expensive restaurant, but use credit card when you go to Macdonald's. That way there are records of you eating at inexpensive restaurants only. Don’t allow you wife to buy expensive things for herself with your credit card. Buy things for her yourself if you must and pay cash. That way there are no records of you living lavishly.
Reduce your apparent long-term earning power as much as possible.
You want to look like a man not capable of making a good living when you stand in from of the judge. Use the above suggestions when you are explaining why your life focus changed and you are no longer a harddriving workaholic working 60-hour weeks and making a lot of money you once were.
Encourage your wife to work, even help her get a job if you have to.
You want your wife to work as much as possible and earn as much as possible during 1-2 years before you file for divorce.
Go back to school and/or retrain yourself 1-2 years before divorce.
A great thing about going to school before divorce is that you may be able to pre-pay your whole duration of school with your pre-divorce money. So if you ever wanted to go back to school and/or acquire additional professional licenses, etc, right now is a great time to do it.
Going to school is also a good excuse to work less and earn less money. It is also a good excuse for your wife to work more.
If you have significant equity in your house.
You should see a lawyer early with this specific issue. The house may be the single biggest thing you can lose out on financially during divorce. If you have children under eighteen years old and your wife gets their custody, then she will likely be allowed to keep the house, and you might be stuck continuing paying for it.